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Costa Rica Expert
Nicaragua tour seeing an active volcano
I've been fortunate enough to have visited Costa Rica several times, twice to the Guanacaste area and another where I was touring through the different regions of Costa Rica. In Guanacaste, we stayed at two different all inclusive resorts...Westin Playa Conchal and the Riu Palace Costa Rica.
The Westin Playa Conchal was one of the luxury all inclusive resorts in the area. When we were there, the winner of the TV show "Survivor" was also there...in the Royal Section". It was quite a surprise to see her there. They also offer a fantastic golf course on property. Most recently we stayed at Riu Palace Guanacaste in December of 2015. It is located right beside the Riu Guanacaste, which we did tour. The Riu Palace is very contemporary in its decor, compared to the more traditional decor of Riu Guanacaste. I was very impressed with the culinary options, especially compared to my stay at another Riu Palace several years ago. And the beds were great...also a great improvement. Both RIU resorts did offer the opportunity for a larger family to have two rooms side-by-side with a single door entrance off the corridor. In subsequent trips to Costa Rica I have stayed at Dreams Las Mareas and Secrets Papagayo.
On my other trip, I flew into San Jose and we made our way to Arenal. At this point I have to say that I don't really recommend driving a car in Costa Rica, unless you have a really good, reliable GPS. On our way to Arenal, there was an accident and the road was closed. Our driver called his office to get another route...we were driving for a while, but then the road stopped...and we had to back up an go another way. We did finally make it though. In Arenal is hiked the Volcano. Unfortunately, lava wasn't flowing when we were then. Most of the hotels in Costa Rica do offer a daily breakfast as part of your price. The town of Fortuna, which is closest to Arenal offers a great opportunity to get out a dine with the locals, fairly inexpensively. The next day we then moved on to the Monteverde Cloud forest. This country is beautiful. The lush mountains are spectacular. Several times we passed by groups of people who had to walk up the mountain because their van didn't have the power to carry both luggage and people up the steep slopes. We visited Selvatura, where we had a choice a VERY LONG zip line course, or a Hanging Bridges tour and a Butterfly Garden and Hummingbird exhibit. We then moved on the Manuel Antonio area...passing Jaco, watching the surfers. We had a guided tour of Manual Antonio State Park. The local guide pointed out plants that were indigenous to Costa Rica. Next stop Puntarenas where we stayed at a Doubletree, which was an all inclusive resort. But it didn't measure up to the standards of the all inclusive resorts in Mexico or other parts of the Caribbean. Stand out properties: Hotel Nayara (very romantic), The Springs (I had clients stay here after I'd seen it and they said it was well worth the money), Tabacon Grand SpaThermal Resort. I can't say enough about the thermal springs at ALL of the resorts around Arenal. Tabacon's grounds are so lush and you go from one temperature pool to another. This is absolutely the way to relax! UPDATE: when I last visited Costa Rica I took a day trip to Nicaragua.
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Spring Break 2016
Deb, thank you so much. Beth
Everyone should use a travel agent
Thank you Carrie. Let me know when you need help in the future. Beth